Your Nearest Archaeological Site

Here’s an idea for bloggers with an archaeological bent. I’m thinking of putting together a one-off carnival about people’s nearest archaeological sites. You go to the nearest site you’re aware of, snap a picture of it and explain (in as many or few words you like) the site’s significance and life-history in a blog entry. Then you send me the link, and when I’ve got a fair number, I put them together in a link-fest, plug it on Reddit & Co, everybody votes for it and we all get a traffic spike. You don’t need any formal qualifications to contribute.

Sound like fun? Please leave a comment if you’re interested.

Update 25 June: Loads of bloggers have expressed interest in this project and I’ve already received the first submission. So, Dear Reader, go for it! As soon as I have nine submissions, the carnival goes live, and subsequent contributions will be added as they appear.

Update 27 June: Three contributions so far and looking good…

Update 1 July: Five contributions, keep ’em coming!

Update 19 July: Carnival on-line now.


  1. #1 Natalie Bennett
    June 23, 2007

    I’m interested….

  2. #2 Tim Jones
    June 23, 2007

    Good one Martin, btw, when do you want contributions by?

  3. #3 paddy
    June 23, 2007

    Sounds like a great idea! But can it wait until after the summer? I will be going to Ireland in July, and there we have lots of nice sites – medieval churches with graveyards are especially common.

  4. #4 Martin R
    June 23, 2007

    I guess I’ll want the submissions ASAP, and when I’ve got nine (which will make ten with my own piece) I’ll put the carnival on-line. Later submissions can then be added as they pop up.

    Paddy, I don’t know when it’ll be, but I’ll happily link to your entry after the summer if you just give me a nice pic. Also, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a broadband connection somewhere on the Green Isle.

  5. #5 Kris Hirst
    June 23, 2007

    I’m in!

  6. #6 Michael Lorenzen
    June 23, 2007

    Good idea! Do you mind if I copy your call for contributions on the American Presidents Blog? Also, I am going to China and would love to cover the Great Wall of China. It is not close to me normally but will be as I travel in July…Is that OK?

  7. #7 Martin R
    June 23, 2007

    Sure, the more the merrier!

  8. #8 Christopher J. O'Brien
    June 23, 2007

    Count me in, but I’ll have to think further on how to do it. Sites aren’t the problem – plenty of those – but there are a lot of people here who think (erroneously, I believe) that advertising sites amounts to opening them up for looting. You’re not asking for site locations, I know, but believe it or not, it’s more of a sensitive issue than many might realize – some people (including tribal folks) seem to think that if you don’t bring any attention to sites, no one will bother them. Personally, I firmly believe that being more open about our archaeological resources with the public does more in the long run to preserve and protect them (and that issue itself would be a good one for we archaeologists to hash out in the blogosphere). So, of course, I think Marin’s idea is great and I intend to participate…

  9. #9 Martin R
    June 23, 2007

    Sweden has a generous definition of what constitutes an archaeological site. Most of our sites contain nothing whatsoever that would be worth a looter’s while.

    As for knowing where the sites are, Swedish standard maps available in every bookstore have had the best (most lootworthy and scenic) sites marked on them for half a century. This is to protect the sites from inadvertently destructive land development, which poses a far greater threat here than looting. People can only preserve and appreciate their cultural heritage if they know about it.

  10. #10 Anne-Marie
    June 23, 2007

    I’m doing an REU program in Arizona right now, we’ve seen some great sites, I’d definitely like to participate if you’ve still got room. Do you want an e-mail with the picture and write-up, or just a link to the blog post?

  11. #11 Martin R
    June 23, 2007

    Just a link! You know, an important purpose of a blog carnival is to shunt the reader stream to the participants’ blogs.

  12. #12 Henrik
    June 24, 2007

    I’m in.

  13. #13 Magnus W
    June 24, 2007

    Sounds like fun! Depending on time I’m in!

  14. #14 PZ Myers
    June 24, 2007

    The nearest “archaeological site” to me is, unfortunately, the Kensington Runestone site. Maybe a Swede would appreciate it, though…

  15. #15 Martin R
    June 24, 2007

    PZ, that may be your nearest famous site, but chances are you have some more nondescript settlement site or cemetery only a few hundred meters from your house. Anyway, the Kensington site is a fine piece of 19th century archaeology. (-;

  16. #16 Mary
    June 24, 2007

    I went out last night to take pictures of the surviving mounds in my county for you…mostly took pictures of the drought. They will be up on soon.

  17. #17 Daphne
    June 25, 2007

    I’m in…there’s plenty of archaeo sites around here (Athens)!

  18. #18 Bruno
    June 25, 2007

    He yeah, I’m interested, and I have a very interesting site nearby: an 6th-8th century Merovingian cemetery. There’s a catch however… they put a road over the spot after excavation… Don’t think that a picture of a brand new asphalt road will be very interesting…

  19. #19 Martin R
    June 25, 2007

    On the contrary, such a pic would be really cool to have! The place is still there even though its use has changed dramatically. One day that road will be abandoned to archaeology as well.

  20. #20 Asa L
    June 25, 2007

    You are so ON!
    We moved to a new part of time a few months ago, and there are rumors of Iron Age stone settings in the forest and indistinguishable Stone Age settlements under the golf court… What to choose, what to choose?

  21. #21 Asa L
    June 25, 2007

    Ok, its either very late or my brain is channeling Freud – we’ve moved to a new part of town – not time! Though I guess I wish I could move to a new part of time…

  22. #22 Martin R
    June 26, 2007

    Haha, a new part of time! Don’t tell me you’re getting tired of the Middle Neolithic already!

    Ćsa baby, I want to see you sneaking out in the wee hours to sink a test pit into the number 5 green on that golf course. (-;

  23. #23 sm
    July 1, 2007

    If I can set it up I’ll have an unusual one for you.

  24. #24 Bruno
    July 9, 2007

    hmm, I have written something, but suddenly I realise I can’t post it anywhere… the blog I’m participating in, is an astronomy blog.

    Is a page on a site also ok?

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